By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it will soon turn over the cash donation it was able to collect for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in war-torn Marawi City to the local government units (LGUs), according to AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla.
In yesterday’s Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacañang, Padilla disclosed that cash donations have already reached P943,945.21 as of Thursday afternoon.
Padilla said AFP Chief Gen. Eduardo Año has already instructed them to facilitate the speedy turnover of the cash donation to the LGUs so it can be used on whatever the IDPs need.
“Ang kanyang kabilin-bilinan po sa atin ay i-turnover na po ito sa ating mga local government units. Ina-ascertain lang at gagawin natin ito through Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) (He told us to turn it over already to the LGUs. We are just ascertaining and we will turn it over through the WestMinCom),” Padilla said.
According to Padilla, the AFP chose to turn the cash donation over to the LGUs instead of distributing this directly to the families so the needs of the IDPs can be addressed more effectively.
“Sila na po ang bahala kung paano nila gagamitin ito para makatulong sa nakararami nating mga kababayan na nasa evacuation center (It’s up to the LGUs how they will use the money to help those in the evacuation centers),” Padilla said.
“Ibabahagi natin ito sa mga namamahala ng evacuation centers at kung ano man ang priority nila na kailangan maaari nilang gastusin doon (The amount will be distributed to those managing the evacuation centers and they can use the money on what they need the most),” he added.
“Kasi kung ibabahagi natin ito o idi-distribute natin ito sa bawat pamilya, baka P10 na lang bawat tao. So magiging useless (If we distribute it to each families, we might just end up with P10 per person. It would be useless then),” he continued.
Last June, the AFP announced that it opened two special bank accounts to those who would want to extend assistance to the families of the soldiers who died in Marawi City and for the Marawi citizens displaced by the ongoing armed conflict.